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Obama agenda: Changing the tone on drones

“President Barack Obama on Thursday is expected to address some of the thornier aspects of national security policy, including drone strikes, the prison at Guantanamo Bay and the dire threats Americans continue to face — even from fellow citizens,” AP writes. “On the eve of the president’s speech at the National Defense University, the Obama administration revealed for the first time that a fourth American citizen had been killed in secretive drone strikes abroad. The killings of three other Americans in counterterror operations since 2009 were known before a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy acknowledged the four deaths.”

As for what Obama will say: “Obama’s speech is expected to reaffirm his national security priorities — from homegrown terrorists to killer drones to the enemy combatants held at the military-run detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — but make no new sweeping policy announcements.”

The New York Times: “President Obama plans to open a new phase in the nation’s long struggle with terrorism on Thursday by restricting the use of unmanned drone strikes that have been at the heart of his national security strategy and shifting control of them away from the C.I.A. to the military.”

Political Wire: “The Obama administration is set to restart transfers of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ‘kick-starting a long-stalled drive to close the prison,’ the Wall Street Journal reports.”

“The economy is recovering, the White House is dealing with multiple controversies, and President Barack Obama appears generally unaffected either way,” AP writes. “Several recent polls show the president sustaining an overall approval rating around 50 percent, with no major uptick from gains in housing, jobs and the stock market, and no downtick from the recent storms over the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS and a leak investigations that has swept up the phone records of Associated Press journalists. The data suggests the economy could be insulating Obama from the immediate troubles confronting his administration. But it also indicates that while a growing number of those surveyed are more optimistic about the economy, they are evenly split on whether they approve or disapprove of his handling of it.”

Time has Obama prom photos from 1979 when he was 17.